Arkle Chase Tips: 2023 Betting Preview & Trends
The Arkle Chase is the second race on the first day of the Festival and punters are always keen to take advantage of Cheltenham offers as the week's racing gets up and running in style.
Both Nicky Henderson and Willie Mullins have a great record in this race but the current ante-post Arkle betting favourite is the Alan King-trained Edwardstone. This is a race that often cuts up into a small and select field but this year it looks more open, so compiling Arkle Chase tips is no easy task.
Arkle Chase Tips
- Back Haut En Couleurs to win - 6/1 with 888sport
Arkle Chase Runners in Focus
Here's an in-depth look at some of the challengers for the 2022 Arkle Chase.
It was unfortunate that Edwardstone was brought down on his reappearance this season but he has won his next four completed starts by a combined distance of 37 lengths and looks a leading contender for this race.
The eight-year-old won the Grade 1 Henry VIII Novices’ Chase at Sandown by 16 lengths before a pair of Grade 2 victories at Kempton and Warwick since Christmas.
He does have previous Cheltenham Festival form with a sixth-placed finish behind Shiskin in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (beaten 23 lengths) and a fifth in the County Hurdle last year behind Belfast Banter (beaten 3 lengths). But that is well below the level needed to win a Grade 1 at the Festival.
He has beaten the best that the UK has to offer but it remains to be seen if he will be able to cope with the Irish challenge.
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Blue Lord appears to be the stable number one this year for Willie Mullins, who has won this race four times in the previous seven years. The seven-year-old so far has an unbeaten record this season over fences since being fitted with a tongue tie.
He won his first two chase starts easily before defeating Riviere D’etel in a thrilling finish to the Grade 1 Irish Arkle at the Dublin Racing Festival last time. Blue Lord took advantage of his rival’s mistake at the last that day and survived a stewards’ enquiry to win the race by half-a-length at the finish.
The pair are closely matched on that effort and despite the revised weights favouring him over Riviere D’etel, I am not sure whether he will uphold that form with the mare. He would have finished second in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle last season behind stablemate Appreciate It but fell at the last before slightly disappointing at Punchestown behind Echoes In Rain. He may be battling it out for the places again this season.
It is hard to believe that Riviere D’etel could only finish seventh last year when she went off 7/1 in Boodles Handicap Hurdle betting odds off a mark of 134. She has achieved so much this season, which raises slight question marks about the track for this mare.
She won her first three starts over fences this season at Fairyhouse, Punchestown and Navan before finding Ferny Hollow too good in the Grade 1 at Leopardstown at Christmas.
She once again finished second behind a Willie Mullins-trained gelding last time, with Blue Lord beating her by half-a-length. However, that result would more than likely have been reversed if she hadn’t made a mistake at the last fence. She receives less weight from her rivals in this race but has been impressive over the larger obstacles this season and is a leading contender.
2022 Arkle Chase Tip: Haut En Couleurs
The Willie Mullins-trained Haut En Couleurs has to defy a few notable Arkle trends if he is to win this race but his chasing debut was so impressive that it outweighs his hiccup in the Grade 1 Irish Arkle last time.
He made his stable debut at the Cheltenham Festival last season when third in the Triumph Hurdle before filling the same position at the Punchestown Festival on his next start. The five-year-old was a well-supported 1/3 chance on his chasing debut at Leopardstown when he defeated stablemates Gentleman De Mee and Mt Leinster in impressive style. That form has been boosted by the runner-up winning by 34 lengths on his next start.
Haut En Couleurs was sent off 100/30 for the Irish Arkle last time but fell at the third fence and hopefully he can emulate stablemate Un De Sceaux by winning this race having fallen earlier in the season.
Saint Sam is another Irish five-year-old who will prove popular with punters for this race, having placed behind Blue Lord and Riviere D’etel in the Irish Arkle last time.
The Willie Mullins-trained gelding finished second in the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival last season before finishing behind Haut En Couleurs in the Punchestown Grade 1 on his next start.
The gelding made a winning chasing debut at Fairyhouse in January before finishing third in the Irish Arkle last time, despite not jumping fluently throughout when attempting to make all. He would have a chance of reversing that form with Blue Lord and Riviere D’etel if jumping better in this race - but he may once again be used by his trainer to ensure there is a strong pace for his stablemates.
Read More: Check out our Cheltenham Gold Cup tips
Ciel De Neige
Ciel De Neige looked an unlikely Arkle contender at the start of this season but following his three novice chase victories so far, he deserves to take his chance in this race.
He had previously been a high-class handicap hurdler who had placed in both the Betfair Hurdle and the Baroneracing.com Handicap Hurdle at Punchestown.
The main concern is that his previous performances at the Cheltenham Festival have left a lot to be desired. He was only 15th and ninth in the County Hurdle off marks of 139 and 140.
He has been impressive in rated novice chases on his previous two starts but has a few pounds to find on his stablemates in this race.
Coeur Sublime made no mistake at odds of 1/6 to get off the mark over fences last time at Gowran Park and it will be interesting to see what mark the UK handicapper allocates him for the Grand Annual.
The Irish handicapper has given him a rating of 148 over fences following his three starts this season, which seems fair based on his runs behind Ferny Hollow earlier this season.
The seven-year-old finished third in the Triumph Hurdle as a juvenile before disappointing in the Champion Hurdle last season but he looks more likely to take up his entry in the Grand Annual Handicap Chase instead.
Read More: Champion Hurdle Tips, Betting Preview & Trends
The Colin Tizzard-trained War Lord has surprised many with how much he has improved over fences this season and I feel connections will let him take his chance in this race.
He appeared to have found his level as a 135-rated hurdler but has won three out of this four starts over fences and earned himself a rating of 149 over the larger obstacles. His only defeat came behind Edwardstone in the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase (Edwardstone has obviously boosted the form since) and he would have an outside chance of hitting the frame in what looks like it may become a small field.
Third Time Lucki
Dan Skelton has stated that Third Time Lucki is an unlikely runner in this race following his defeat to Edwardstone in the Kingmaker Novices’ Chase at Warwick last time and more likely to head to the Aintree festival instead.
Elixir De Nutz
Elixir De Nutz, Stablemate to War Lord, has won his previous two starts over fences but looks set to go the Grand Annual instead off a handicap mark of 143.
Arkle Novices’ Chase Odds
|Edwardstone||2/1 with Paddy Power|
|Blue Lord||3/1 with William Hill|
|Riviere D'etel||7/2 with 888sport|
|Haut En Couleurs||6/1 with 888sport|
|Saint Sam||8/1 with William Hill|
- Odds correct as of 24/02/2022 - For full latest odds head over to 888sport
Arkle Chase Trends
- Mullins or Henderson have won eight of the last 10 - negative for Edwardstone and Riviere D’etel
- Previous 11 winners were all aged either 6 or 7 - positive for Blue Lord and Ciel De Neige
- Seven out of the previous 10 favourites have won; all of which have been odds-on - positive for Edwardstone (currently)
- 12 of the last 14 rated 151+ - positive for Edwardstone, Blue Lord, Saint Sam and Third Time Lucki
- Only Western Warhorse of the last 21 winners wore headgear - negative for Riviere D’etel and Ciel De Neige
- Last 12 winners had won previous start - positive for Edwardstone, Blue Lord and Ciel De Neige
- Only two winners this century had fallen this season - negative for Haut En Couleurs
Recent Arkle Chase Winners
|2020||Put The Kettle On|
|2019||Duc De Genievres|
|2015||Un De Sceaux|
Arkle Chase Verdict
The Willie Mullins-trained HAUT EN COULEURS has to buck a few trends if he is to win this race but the five-year-old can upset his better-fancied stablemates here. His chasing debut victory at Leopardstown was a fantastic performance and I was impressed with how well he ran as a juvenile at the Cheltenham Festival last year on his stable debut.
He was sent off only 100/30 for the Irish Arkle last time when he fell but I am hoping he can emulate stablemate Un De Sceaux by winning this race having fallen earlier in the season. His main danger appears to be Riviere D’etel who would have won the Irish Arkle if she hadn’t made a bad mistake at the last - but I fancy him to provide Willie Mullins with another Arkle Chase winner.
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